Contemporary Native American jewellery ranges from hand-quarried and processed stones and shells to computer-fabricated steel and titanium jewellery. The pieces are no longer simple metalwork, but are now masterful examples of jewellery making. Pieces are sophisticated in their design, and feature inlays of turquoise, mother of pearl, spondylus shell, and amethyst. The nose and ear ornaments, chest plates, small containers and whistles are considered masterpieces of ancient Peruvian culture.
- In India, jewelry often depicts religious symbols and meditative mantras.
- It was frequently given as a gift and was predominantly worn by women to show their wealth, social status, and beauty.
- At one time in Europe only the wealthy and high-ranking church officials were allowed to wear gemstones.
- As a result, the use of industrial processes, cheaper alloys, and stone substitutes led to the development of paste or costume jewellery.
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